Five-time Fittest Man on Earth® Mat Fraser and two-time Fittest Man on Earth® Justin Medeiros met in Austin, Texas, to watch the 2023 Rogue Invitational. They sat together for an interview wherein Fraser inquired about the 2023 CrossFit Games, when Medeiros fell to 13th place overall, concededing the CrossFit Games title to Jeffrey Adler. On Nov. 13, 2023, Fraser published the almost hour-long interview on his YouTube channel. Check it out below:
Medeiros on the 2023 CrossFit Games
Medeiros divulged the various injuries and mental barriers he faced leading up to the 2023 CrossFit Games. His 13th-place finish was the worst Games performance of his young career that includes a Games bronze and two Games titles. As a result, Medeiros has taken a step back to get healthy for the 2024 CrossFit Open scheduled to begin on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024.
Every time I’m out there, the goal is to win. If I don’t, that obviously did not go as planned.
Medeiros dealt with shin splints during his Games training, which stopped him running during training. Additionally, he lost activation in one of his shoulders in the sub-scapular area. Those injuries were catastrophic to Medeiros’ CrossFit Games preparation, affecting his mental game. At the 2023 Games in Madison, WI, Medeiros vomited before events, fell off his bike twice in the opening event, and felt dizzy and lightheaded throughout the competition.
Medeiros’ Mindset After Missing the Podium
A big concern for Medeiros was that fans were no longer rooting for him during the 2023 Games. However, he finds that to be an excellent motivator. Fraser felt similarly after the 2015 Games, when Fraser missed the podium:
I was focused on winning and not the process; not each event individually. I went into a depression. I disappeared for three months.
After the 2023 Games, Medeiros dealt with a feeling of guilt that he let his team of support down. “I know that they’re doing everything they can to help me succeed,” Medeiros said. “So if I don’t succeed, what does that mean? They did all their job, did I not do my job?”
Fraser acknowledged silver linings in subpar situations. Fraser’s shortcomings at the Games led to a honing of his diet, sleep, and training that eventually led to five Games titles. For Medeiros, missing the podium meant returning to the “why” behind his goals. Experiencing failure regarding the goals he set for himself has relit his fire. It was furthered while watching the 2023 Rogue Invitational — Medeiros longed to be on the competition floor battling against the best in the world.
Training for 2024
Medeiros trains with his girlfriend, Ellie Turner, an elite CrossFit athlete from Australia who finished 31st overall in the Individual women’s division at the 2023 Games. Medeiros’ joy of training has become more fun since they became training partners. However, it adds a wrinkle to the competition because now Medeiros cares about his and Turner’s performance. However, Fraser touted the benefits of training with other elite athlets who can help push progress benchmarks.
Medeiros acknowledged that a relationship within the professional CrossFit sphere is more accessible as training hard, accountability, and shared goals are the norm. Fraser and Medeiros discuss how people stick with you or toss one away when success isn’t achieved. Fraser and Medeiros both utilize unfortunate circumstances to fuel narratives that help them train and compete at an elite level. They recognized that that kind of mentality might be borderline unhealthy, but they cannot deny the results from harboring those feelings, real or not.
Medeiros knows he is still an elite athlete in the sport even without having three-peated at the Games. He trusts he will come back in better shape in 2024, and is excited to add more hardware to his legacy.
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Featured image: @justinmedeiros34 on Instagram